There are two types of chicks to raise: the ones you practically took care of from the moment they were hatched and the ones that you bought from hatcheries which are already taken care of and just needs further nourishing. Basing from the two choices, there are also two ways of properly raising the chicks before becoming the perfect chickens.
Chicks hatched from your own poultry’s eggs basically need 4 things: comfort, warmth, food and water. Comfort can be based from your own personal touch and how you hold the chicks. Warmth is taken from the mother or if you plan to separate the chicks on an early stage, an incubator or what others call as a heat lamp is essential. Usually the incubator is composed of two or three light bulbs depending on the number of chicks that have hatched.
The very first thing to do is fix the place where you will put your hatchlings – the brooder. It must have a temperature that is neither too cold nor too hot. Either of the two extremes will contribute severe negative conditions to the chicks. Your incubator must have a temperature that’s 90-95 degrees. If you have settled with the 95-degree heat, maintain it until the end of the first week. Your temperature must decrease every week by 5 degrees until you reach the 6th week.
The floor of your chick’s pad must be made of cardboard or piles of old newspapers. This can be used as an insulator for keeping the temperature in the room in proper condition.
Have the drinking station of your chicks always cleaned. Aside from that, the proper way of refreshing your chicks is to give them boiled water. Something as little as these creatures are too vulnerable to germs. Their baby immune systems aren’t that mature to fight away bacteria and harmful microorganisms that may invade their body. Better safe than sorry. Grain coffee is also an alternative but will cost you. You have to make sure that what you give them is not that hot to handle.
To serve their drink, pour the contents in a jug, turn it upside down standing on a dish. The leak coming from the inverted jug is sufficient enough to accommodate their need for nourishment.
Chicks are a little particular with their food. They don’t eat anything “old”. They want their food dripping with freshness. Initially, you could give them milled oats. You could include bits of boiled eggs into the milled oats. If you think giving them that is a bit too mushy, you are welcome to go to feed stores for poultry raising. Some who are fond of feeding anything to their chicks have this intuition to feed them bread. Which is totally wrong. Because feeding them bread is a sin. This can kill them.
You could also include lettuce cuts into the diet. Squeamish or not, you have to provide their favorite menu – bugs and grubs. They eat these little wiggly things and gobble them up so fast.
Just don’t make any mistake of giving these to newly hatched chicks.
You have to be very particular of the space that you have provided for the young ones. Cramping must be avoided. This might result to trampling and worse, cannibalism. Chicks grow quickly. That’s why you have to ensure that their room is big enough for their proper accommodation.
Do replace the cardboard or the newspaper placed under their pad every time you notice it’s soiled. Even you wouldn’t like the idea of sleeping in your own feces.